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Welcome to my Nightmare

by on December 9, 2012

I’m a little nervous this week, and I think with good reason.  Writing books can be a bit of a lonely business sometimes, as many of you probably know.  You sit at home, or sometimes down the pub if you are lucky, typing madly into a laptop, staring vacantly into the middle distance (my default setting, I suspect) or making reflective notes into your trusty Moleskine.  Insulated from the outside world by thought and the alternate reality you are creating.  Yes, Gingerlily, Merlot comes into the mix occasionally.  What I’m getting at is that I create a whole universe, entirely to my satisfaction, and spend as much time as I can there, not least because I have made it a rather warmer and friendlier place than this version.

Anyway, I digress.  This week, driven by an insane desire to actually offload some of the product of my fevered imagination upon the unsuspecting and occasionally innocent public, I blagged an interview in my local paper( The Carmarthen Journal)  in order to plug The Vampire Mechanic.  Next thing I know, the woman behind the counter in the local petrol station is asking for my autograph.  I’m a little bemused by this as I don’t use a cheque book anymore, haven’t for years, don’t think I even have one.  Actually she’s looking at the local paper.  I didn’t even realise it was out, or that I was in it this week.  The photo is awful. I mean, I know that I am not photgenic at all.   How the print run made it without exploding and ruining the printing machines I’ve no idea, but at least they can’t blame me for that.  Maybe I should be more disturbed that this lady, who I see for about 2 minutes at a time, once a week, could recognise me from that unflattering image.

The point though of this ramble is that I was rather taken aback.  Now, I’ve been doing booksignings all over the UK in Waterstones branches, and I’m used to talking to people and trying to sell them a book.  But to be approached like that was a new, and somewhat disturbing experience.  I’ve had a very tiny peek into a celebrity world, and I can understand a little more now why it is such a frightening and intrusive place for them to inhabit.  Their celebrity status and wealth would be a poor trade in my book.

It’s a whole different world there: and one that, as a fantasy writer, I can now both appreciate a little and avoid!

I’d finished writing all the above, ready to push the send button today (Sunday) as I usually do, when another shock landed.  A guy I know from an online writing group called Authonomy writes a regular blog for the Daily Telegraph, and since I’m somewhat of a lefty, we have amiable arguments on Facebook about the contents of his blog.  A fellow writer and i try to subvert him to a more civilised view of life.  This week, Charles has mentioned us both by name, with a passing swipe of abuse (which I have of course laughed at, as Charles intended).

Is it true that there is no such thing as bad publicity?  I suppose there is a chance that some of the crusty old codgers who by the Telegraph might google me as a result, and even buy a book!  And that’s even easier now I have a second website.  Tell me what you think of it.   Say hello.


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  1. kimatsafkhet permalink

    oh, wow – I got to be fast now to get an autograph, I guess. Next time, I’m there, I should make it a point and get one before the Banned has an official fanclub and start charging for autographs!
    Seriously though – my tutor always said that no publicity is bad because it at least means you rile people up enough to talk about you and yes, who knows, someone might notice you and buy a book! I hope the gas station lady has ordered all three!?

  2. Fame. Ooo. And a very precise summary of what it is to be a fantasy writer and why it’s so nice. I’ve said it for years, I know but the real world is all very well but I wouldn’t want to live there full time. I suppose that’s what being a fantasy author is; someone like that!

    The new site’s great and has made me aware of several pages that I should be adding to mine.




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